Every decision I make these days is accompanied by the inner question: What would Mariah do?
Ive been thinking a lot about Mariah Carey recently. Carey is never far from my mind, because ever since I read that she gave birth to her twins, Monroe and Moroccan (I love you, Mariah), while listening to a recording of one of her own concerts so the babies would enter the world to the sound of applause, every decision I make is accompanied by the inner question: What would Mariah do?
Carey has been in the news recently because of her relationship with James Packer, a deeply tedious-looking Australian billionaire and Scientologist. If youre thinking, Boy, he sounds unworthy of Carey, you would be right: the two have split up. But, incredibly, rather than mocking the Australian billionaire Scientologist (I mean, I ask you), the media coverage has been making fun of Carey.
Now, when I break up with someone, or someone breaks up with me (Carey and Packer offer differing accounts of who was the dumper and dumpee), my approach is to follow the advice of womens magazines and take some me time, and by me time I mean spend at least a month locked in my flat watching Murder She Wrote and eating cake frosting straight out of the tub. Carey, however, takes a different tack: instead of relying on Jessica Fletcher to help her through this difficult period, she is allegedly demanding that Packer stump up $50m as an inconvenience fee.
He moved her across the country and relocated her and her kids, someone described as a member of Careys entourage told the US press. She wants an inconvenience fee.
As anyone who has ever moved in their life knows, with or without twins named Monroe and Moroccan, $50m is small potatoes for the inconvenience involved. Personally, I reckon Carey should ask for $100m plus an entirely new wardrobe, because something always goes missing when you move, such as that old blue jumper that was disgusting but perfect for staying in and eating cake frosting.
Some have suggested that it is unseemly for Carey to demand money from Packer, who is worth $3.5bn, when she herself has $500m. But given that she made her money by singing like an angel for 25 years, whereas he made his by being the son of Kerry Packer, he really should give her every damned cent he has to thank her for having been allowed to park his talentless, overprivileged ass anywhere within her supernaturally gifted orbit.
And yet this story is being reported as further evidence that Carey is the demanding one (quick reminder that Carey worked for every penny, whereas Packer was given his by Daddy). In every report that Ive read of this story, which currently numbers about 562,732, she is referred to as a diva. This is a word that is only ever used about women and gay men and, as far as I can glean, it means someone who demands to be treated as a heterosexual man in their position would. It is applied with notably especial enthusiasm to black women. Know your place, black ladies! Plenty of heterosexual men have a thrillingly inflated sense of their self-worth and never apologise for it. After all, Elvis Presley once flew his private jet from Denver to Graceland just because he fancied a peanut butter sandwich. John Lennon had a refrigerated room in his apartment for his fur coats. Yet not once have I heard either of them sneered at as divas.
Like ambition, to be demanding is seen as unseemly in a woman but rather sexy in a man. Yes, people might chuckle at male performers riders (my personal favourite was Iggy Pops, in which he allegedly demanded a Bob Hope impersonator at every show). But there is no negative term for them, or even any kickback. Carey, meanwhile, merely (and allegedly) demands 20 white kittens at each of her gigs and her talent is deemed secondary to, even compromised b,y her demands.
Pretty much all my favourite celebrity women have been described as divas Diana Ross, Cher, Mary J Blige, Carey because theyre awesome and they demand their due respect (and kittens). Divas act as necessary counterbalances in a world that sees anything other than self-deprecation or self-effacement in a woman as unnatural, ugly and laughable, and if I was the education secretary I would honestly put diva lessons on the school syllabus for girls. So you go get your inconvenience fee, Mariah. Youre worth it and God bless you for knowing it.
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us